Sony builds teleconferencing solution for impaired children

Private SDSL network linked to video system

Sony Australia has built a videoconferencing solution for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's (RIDBC) Teleschool to provide access to specialist education for vision and hearing impaired children in remote and rural areas.

The solution launched this week to link hearing or vision impaired children in remote areas with highly specialised staff located in Sydney, ensures children are not disadvantaged in education.

A Teleschool session connects a child and its parents to specialist teachers and therapists in the RIDBC Teleschool headquarters in Sydney where staff work with the children to develop the specialist skills and strategies to support their education.

A student communicates with the Teleschool from home or a videoconference centre via a private SDSL network and a Sony PCS1P Video Communication system which connects a camera unit and communication terminal to a television.

Teachers and therapists can monitor the child in its home environment via the videoconferencing system which can also host simultaneous sessions.

RIDBC manager of children's services Jan North said the system supports more than 70 families with deaf and blind children.

"The Teleschool enables us to offer education to children who have until now been restricted by their location, and we are able to offer over 70 families across the country access to specialised education for deaf and blind children," North said.

Sony Australia business manager, Peter Norman, said the videoconferencing technology will strengthen the relationships between teachers and pupils by bringing them closer together.

The videoconferencing system joins a range of services that the RIDBC provides for families including e-mail, telephone and mail.

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